Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Snows in October


In the flurry of preparations for voting and now for attending the Continental Congress 2009, I have neglected Nearly Wordless Wednesday terribly. This week, mother nature, courtesy of El Nino-Southern Oscillation has provided first snows, and early to boot!

The very first snowfall that actually stuck to the ground in Sedillo this year came on Monday morning.

Here, tree stump and century plant alike are decorated by the dusting of snow.

On our moring walk, we could see the house from Los Pecos Loop, likewise sprinkled on top with a powdering of the white stuff. The trees show a very light frosting as well.

It was all gone by mid-morning Monday, and the sun warmed the porch, but a chill north wind was the harbinger of the cold front to come.

Tuesday dawned clear and sunny, but a steady west wind carried the cold front through, and by late afternoon, the unsettled clouds came across the Sandia Front. Last night, we saw a ring around the moon.

Very early this morning, I took Lily out --poor thing had an unsettled stomach--and I saw a glow of white over the mountains, as the lights of Albuquerque reflected off the descending clouds. The snow started a few hours later, when we rose to begin the day. By 7:30 AM, the driveway was covered. The Engineering Geek barely got the truck up the drive. He drove the car into town, as it has new snow tires on the drive wheels.

As the large white flakes fell, quickly covering Sedillo with three inches of snow, the Boychick got a few rounds off as he practiced against the target with his new rifle.

The rule is no school until the snowplow comes. I have yet to see it. The county was probably caught unprepared this time, even though we heard yesterday that we could have snow. Our road to "Ye Olde 66" is both windy and has some relatively steep grades (5-6%) and is treacherous in the unplowed state. And Albuquerque drivers are problematic in the rain and positively dangerous in the snow. Mixed snow and rain does not bear even thinking about down there!

The clouds lifted a bit mid-morning, and currently we are seeing sprinkles of snow, but we expect to get two more inches of new snow by evening, bringing our total to 5 inches.

And now the question of the hour: Whatever happened to Global Warming?

This is a very early first significant snowstorm for our laditude even given our altitude!

The climate change gurus rely too heavily on climate models which currently cannot even predict the cyclical El Nino (ENSO), which changes our weather every four years approximately. In addition, those models do not take into account sunspot activity, which has a great influence on global weather.

Geologists tend to see things differently, taking into account what we know from paleoclimate reconstructions. The recent warming was a tiny blip on the graph of global temperature, lasting less than half the time of the Medieval Warm Period. And the Medieval Warm Period saw temperatures that were significantly higher than those we saw during the recent warming. The recent warming may not be climate change at all, and certainly does not of itself portend global disaster. Rather, it may be part and parcel of the North American 50-year drought cycle, or another oscillation in the Little Ice Age. It is almost certainly an affect of solar cycles as well.

In the meantime, break out the skis! Looks like we'll have a good snowpack this year.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Yes, snow here in "Edgewind". Off and on most of the day. When I am able to glimpse South Mountain through the flurries, it looks like it has received substantial flakiness.

Enjoyed your spanking of the Gorelites.